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Driving lights wiring power - head spinning


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Help. Electrics are not my strong suit. None of it is really lol. 
 

I installed Hella 500 driving lights on my 1972 2002tii and have them wired up all the way to the firewall. Very carefully and neatly have everything ready to go less the switch. 
I’m going to use the toggle switch that came with the Hella kit, although eventually probably do something more age appropriate looking. 
The fused power wire for the lights, connects to terminal 2 on the 3-prong switch, where do I connect to so I can use the lights with low beams on? I’ve read tons of threads here and my head is spinning. 
I read connect to fuse #9 (heater) then another said no, fuse 3 or 4 (low beams) instead. How do I even do that? Do I pull the fuse box and splice into the incoming wire from underneath? 
Or do I pull from something in steering column or under dash? 
help please. 
 

 

image.jpeg

Edited by Pablo M
Added year and model.
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2003 e39 M5 (daily)

1986 e30 325es (sons car)

1972 2002tii (fun daily alternative)

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First, I hope you're including a relay in your driving light wiring, interposed bettween the switch and the lights themselves.  

 

Second, why do you want to have them go on with the low beams?  All that will do is dazzle oncoming drivers regardless of whether you have low or high beams on.  Driving lights should be wired so they come on (optionally, with a switch) with your high beams.  

 

I'll let John76 do up one of his nifty wiring diagrams, but basically the trigger wire on the relay (terminal 86 on the relay) should lead to a wire that goes to the high beams--at the dimmer lever on the steering column, with your switch interposed; otherwise the driving lights will always come on with the high beams.  The load wire at the relay (terminal 87) should go to the driving lights themselves,, and the feed wire (terminal 30--that provides all those amps to light the driving lights) should go to one of the 16 amp fuses at the fuse box.  If your relay has four terminals, #85 is the ground.  A three terminal relay is grounded by its mount. 

 

mike

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Mike @Mike Self is correct.

Driving lights should only be used as a "super" supplement to the high beams.

Fog lights should only be used with the low beams.

'72 cars only had 1 relay...for the horn.

Highly recommend adding 3 relays: Low Beam, High Beam and Driving Light relays to protect your 52-year-old wiring and switches. As Mike mentioned, use a 16A fuse between the battery + and the #30 tab on the new relay.

Wire your driving lights as follows: 

 

BMWDrivingLights.thumb.jpg.475c0920a4847ecbe422cfad74e8e3fe.jpg

 

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Theres an unused connector in the wiring loom on the left front of the engine bay, by the Alternator Voltage Regulator... you can plug your driving light 'signal' wire (86 on the relay) into this wiring loom plug and get the driving lights and hi beams to work together. (no need to pull wire thru to the dash)

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'59 Morris Minor, '67 Triumph TR4A, '68 Silver Shadow, '72 2002tii, '73 Jaguar E-Type,

'73 2002tii w/Alpina mods , '74 2002turbo, '85 Alfa Spider, '03 Lotus Elise

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I guess I wasn't clear. I do not want the lights to work with my high beams. 

I do not want to run them with high beams. They're only 55W so same as low beams, which means I won't be blinding other cars and can leave them on with oncoming traffic. 

Regardless whether you agree or not, I'd like some help with wiring it in this manner.

 

The Hella kit comes with a wiring harness. It has an inline fuse between power/battery and the relay. It also has an inline fuse between the switch power and wherever you connect for power. 

The relay it comes with is plastic and has a separate ground wire, does not ground itself by its mounting. 

I already have wires going through the firewall so I can wire the switch. Relay is placed on the firewall at the driver's side.

 

The way I have it wired as of now is EXACTLY like the diagram @John76 posted, except power to the switch (red/white wire). 

 

Where can I draw power so that I can turn them on/off with low beams on? 

2003 e39 M5 (daily)

1986 e30 325es (sons car)

1972 2002tii (fun daily alternative)

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With the low power/trigger current requirements for terminal 86 of the relay you can find an ignition on source under the dash. Rear window defogger circuit, or heater circuit possibly. In that configuration you can operate your Hellas anytime you like. Low beams, high, or no headlamps on. 

Be sure to aim them properly, and check your state DMV laws regarding lighting.

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Gunther March 19, 1974. Hoffman Motors march 22 1974 NYC

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7 hours ago, Pablo M said:

I guess I wasn't clear. I do not want the lights to work with my high beams. 

I do not want to run them with high beams. They're only 55W so same as low beams, which means I won't be blinding other cars and can leave them on with oncoming traffic. 

Regardless whether you agree or not, I'd like some help with wiring it in this manner.

 

The Hella kit comes with a wiring harness. It has an inline fuse between power/battery and the relay. It also has an inline fuse between the switch power and wherever you connect for power. 

The relay it comes with is plastic and has a separate ground wire, does not ground itself by its mounting. 

I already have wires going through the firewall so I can wire the switch. Relay is placed on the firewall at the driver's side.

 

The way I have it wired as of now is EXACTLY like the diagram @John76 posted, except power to the switch (red/white wire). 

 

Where can I draw power so that I can turn them on/off with low beams on? 

Aim and beam shape are the critical aspects for not blinding other drivers, not wattage.  Fog, cornering and driving lights, low beams and heck, one of my taxi/landing lights are typically ~55w, but vastly differing patterns and usage.  

 

Hella makes push/pull switches that are much more period correct for our cars than the kit's toggle.

Edited by wingswheelshulls
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1974 '02 Golf 'Gabby', few Porsches and leaky British things.

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Your driving lights are basically the same as older high beam lights, which used to be 55W. On coming drivers objected back then, and they will now. Low beams have a distinct cutoff to prevent dazzle. Hence our pretty much unanimous suggestion that you at least wire them independently, but not with low beams.

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12 hours ago, Pablo M said:

Help. Electrics are not my strong suit. None of it is really lol. 
 

I installed Hella 500 driving lights on my 1972 2002tii and have them wired up all the way to the firewall. Very carefully and neatly have everything ready to go less the switch. 
I’m going to use the toggle switch that came with the Hella kit, although eventually probably do something more age appropriate looking. 
The fused power wire for the lights, connects to terminal 2 on the 3-prong switch, where do I connect to so I can use the lights with low beams on? I’ve read tons of threads here and my head is spinning. 
I read connect to fuse #9 (heater) then another said no, fuse 3 or 4 (low beams) instead. How do I even do that? Do I pull the fuse box and splice into the incoming wire from underneath? 
Or do I pull from something in steering column or under dash? 
help please. 
 

 

image.jpeg

Love the grille badge, btw!

 

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1973 2002 - my '02 was built on my '02

Other - 2022 V60CC, 2014 B8.5 S4, 2003 TJ

Past - 1996 318ti, 1999 323i, 2004 X3 (with 6-spd manual!), 2007 328i spt pkg, 2015 XC70, and a whole mess of GTIs in the old days.

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10 hours ago, dlacey said:

Theres an unused connector in the wiring loom on the left front of the engine bay,

Yep...this is just a signal source for the driving light relay (tab #86). Never use this to power your driving lights directly. 

Here's what to look for:

 

HighBeamTap1.thumb.png.d2376248b32ced918c5c25a6b5348d85.png

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10 hours ago, Pablo M said:

I do not want the lights to work with my high beams. 

OK Pablo.

Wire them as FOG lights but mount them above the front bumper to supplement your low-beam headlights.

They will turn OFF when you hit your high-beam switch.

As @wingswheelshulls said, "It's all about the beam pattern, not the bulb wattage"...so aim them carefully!

 

FogLightWiringDiagram.thumb.JPG.b53ec4b75313e31f4991262186cf6244.JPG

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Hans said:

Your driving lights are basically the same as older high beam lights, which used to be 55W. On coming drivers objected back then, and they will now. Low beams have a distinct cutoff to prevent dazzle. Hence our pretty much unanimous suggestion that you at least wire them independently, but not with low beams.

Im not sure I'm making myself clear. I dont want them to come on automatically when I turn on my headlights (low beam). That's what you're saying sounds like. I want to turn them on/off independently, but do not want to need my high beams on to do so. When (lwo beam) lights are on I want to be able to turn them on/off.

8 minutes ago, John76 said:

OK Pablo.

Wire them as FOG lights but mount them above the front bumper to supplement your low-beam headlights.

They will turn OFF when you hit your high-beam switch.

As @wingswheelshulls said, "It's all about the beam pattern, not the bulb wattage"...so aim them carefully!

 

FogLightWiringDiagram.thumb.JPG.b53ec4b75313e31f4991262186cf6244.JPG

 

Thanks. I was going to reframe my question as fogs instead of driving lights. I understand beam spread and such, and that its not the same as headlight bulbs.

Also, low beams have been 55w since 1962 (had to look it up).

I will pay special attention to aiming them. Back in the day I aimed them just left/right of center and slightly down to light up the inside of corners when night driving the canyons. 

 

Now, this sketch you post, came up loads of times in the threads I researched here. Back to one of my original questions. Is #9 fuse the right fuse? There was some debate on a thread that it should be #3 or #4 instead. 

Will connecting to #9 fuse allow me to turn lights on/off when low beams are on?

And HOW do I physically connect to the fuse? Do I splice into a wire that plugs into bottom of fuse box? Do I find that wire under the dash? I'm lost on the specifics as no thread mentions it other than as sketch above.

Edited by Pablo M

2003 e39 M5 (daily)

1986 e30 325es (sons car)

1972 2002tii (fun daily alternative)

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8 minutes ago, Pablo M said:

#9 fuse the right fuse?

Sorry...for your '72 12-fuse, the connection for the trigger wire to your switch and to the relay (#86) does indeed come from either fuse #3 or #4.  I wish BMW would be consistent through all model years of the 12-fuse cars!

The low-beam signal to the relay is turned on/off by a dash switch. If you want your new lights to always be on with your low-beams (like a 4-headlight car), then wire the relay (#86) directly to fuse #3 or #4 and skip the on/off switch.

With lights ON, all 4 55W lights will be powered. When you hit the high beams, only the 60W high-beam lamps will be powered.,

John

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12 minutes ago, John76 said:

Sorry...for your '72 12-fuse, the connection for the trigger wire to your switch and to the relay (#86) does indeed come from either fuse #3 or #4.  I wish BMW would be consistent through all model years of the 12-fuse cars!

The low-beam signal to the relay is turned on/off by a dash switch. If you want your new lights to always be on with your low-beams (like a 4-headlight car), then wire the relay (#86) directly to fuse #3 or #4 and skip the on/off switch.

With lights ON, all 4 55W lights will be powered. When you hit the high beams, only the 60W high-beam lamps will be powered.,

John

Thanks for confirming John. 
I’ll set it up on a switch powered through 3/4. Not sure why everyone seems to assume I want them automatically on when the cars headlights are turned on (low or high).  Most of the time the DL’s will be off. 

2003 e39 M5 (daily)

1986 e30 325es (sons car)

1972 2002tii (fun daily alternative)

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1 hour ago, Pablo M said:

And HOW do I physically connect to the fuse?

You need to lift the fuse box and look at the connections to the 3/4 fuses. There may be extra tabs to plug in a female connector on your trigger wire. If not, try one of those splitter female connectors with 2 male tabs. Just be sure to insulate everything. Try not to "splice" into your wires.

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